Autism is a mental disorder in which a person is unable to engage with others socially and shows repetitive behavior. This is also how autism affects girls in the exact same manner.
It is a developmental condition, and symptoms are more or less the same for both genders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 59 children is diagnosed with autism. Also, it is found to be more common in boys than in girls. For this reason, doctors sometimes underdiagnose girls. Sometimes girls hide their autistic symptoms to avoid diagnosis. The symptoms slightly vary from person to person.
Autism is mostly known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and all symptoms are covered under this term. Children with autism find it difficult to interact with others. They socially distance themselves and like to be alone. Some common symptoms are as follows:
• Don’t like being cuddled or held
• Do not follow instructions
• Unable to explain what they need or want
• Difficulty in understanding other people’s emotions
• Do not respond when called out by their name
• Do not respond when someone points at something
• Difficulty in maintain eye contact
Other autistic characteristics relate to repeated actions and strict routines. Some of them are mentioned here:
• Do not accept changes in routine
• Overly attach themselves to toys or things
• Rocking back and forth
• Take lots of time organizing things
• Repeat certain kind words
• Unnatural response to certain tastes, sounds and smells
• Having difficulty in balancing and weird motor skills
Children show signs of these symptoms during their infancy or early childhood. Sometimes these symptoms go unnoticed by parents, and they may recognize them later on.
Autism in Girls
Some common misconceptions about male and female behaviors can cause us confusion and symptoms go unnoticed. Some people think that girls like to play alone and usually are quieter than boys. Girls with autism usually tend to copy their friends to mask their symptoms. The symptoms can be symptoms of autism. Symptoms of autism vary between boys and girls, and some symptoms are more common in boys than girls. Autism symptoms are easier to spot in boys as compared to girls.
Girls usually tend to hide their emotions, and that is why autistic symptoms are hard to detect. They mask their behavior by learning from their peers how to interact socially. Girls are usually more self-aware about themselves and tend to socialize. Girls with autism find it hard to socialize when they get older. This is why autism symptoms go undetected in girls during their childhood. Later diagnosis of girls is usually attributed to stereotypes such as being unable to form friendships and to be alone. Most of the researches done on autism is done on males.
More research needs to be done on the symptoms of autism between boys and girls. If a girl is showing signs of autism, then it is recommended that you take it seriously and consult with a physician near you. The earlier you detect the symptoms, the better the diagnosis will be. Girls with autism face difficulties in life later on because their symptoms go undetected. Some girls try to fight with their situation by their sheer willpower. They try their best to socialize and hide their symptoms. Understanding the symptoms at an early age is crucial so that child may not face difficulties later on.
Researchers need to do more research on autistic girls and how they develop symptoms during their early childhood. If the autism symptoms are detected early on, then they can be properly diagnosed. Autism is a bad situation to be in, whether it is a boy or a girl. It should be diagnosed properly so that the child can have a better future.
by: Lani J. | Image: Uplash